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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #1
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Davis and Sanford Tripod question

I just recently purchased a D & S Provista 7518 tripod with a FM18 fluid head. Question: Is anyone else using this model? The reason I ask is that it appears that the tension on the tilt is very tight, even with the tension adjustment loosened all the way. I have a Sony VX2100, and I find that I have to exert a fair amount of tension before the tilt responds. Does anyone know if this is normal for this head? The pan works very smooth and easy. I'm just wondering if this is rare for this model and a replacement is in order. I know that I should have spent more and went with a Manfrotto etc. but my budget did not warrant it at this time.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #2
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Well Mike, since no one else has answered, I will take a leap here. First, I don't know how hard you have to work the tilt in order to get it to move. It is possible that the level of resistance is what it should be and there is a chance that it is too great.

I can understand why you would think that the tilt should move with as little resistance as the pan but that is not necessarily the case. The pan may have little to no resistance (at its minimum setting) so that you can do whip pans, where your are filming a subject and then whip to another view so fast that it blurs during the pan. Resistance must be very low to accomplish a whip pan without moving the tripod.

However, most of the time, resistance in the tilt is a welcome thing. It helps to steady the cam (in general), maintain a given tilt and prevent accidental movement, especially when there is no counterbalance mechanism.

So, it really depends on just how resistant the head is to tilting. I do not have experience with a lot of different fluid heads but I do know that some fluid heads are very light and others have considerable resistance, they are not all the same. Actually, I seem to remember being surprised at the resistance of my first fluid head, a Miller DS5. It was more than I had expected.

If it is so resistant that your tripod moves while tilting... that would be a problem. If it is so resistant that you cannot seem to make controlled movements with the head, then it is too tight. I would have to feel it to really know, but it sounds to me that it may be fine.

Nick
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Old April 30th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #3
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hello mike,

have the provista for about 2 years now, and no problems at all. use it mostly in the theater/ studio setting, but i lost the 3 little plastic caps which cover the leg pipe opening.
(xl1-s with 7" lcd monitor, bogen remote control handle)

thinking of getting a hardcase.

greetings
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Old May 1st, 2006, 08:46 PM   #4
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Thank you for your replies. The feedback helped me determine if there was potentially a problem. Just to give you an idea of the resistance (on the lightest tilt tension); when I first attempt to tilt the the camera, up or down, I notice that the pan/tilt handles will begin to flex before the camera begins to move. At the end of the tilt, when I release the handles, I notice that the framed shot in the viewfinder will move slightly opposite of the direction of the direction I tilted. Hope that makes sense. I read the review in Videomaker for this tripod and it mentioned that with a Canon XL1 (about 7 lbs.) they would have to be careful not to have the tension adjusted too light or the camera would tilt forward, since it is front end heavy. I use a VX2100, so I would think that at the lightest setting that it should tilt smooth enough without flexing the tilt/pan handles. I also talked to customer support at D & S and they said that they would change the viscosity of the oil for me. All these things added up, plus your comments, led me to believe that there is something wrong with the tripod, and it is not typical for this model. Anyway, I am sending it back to the store I got it from for replacement (gonna give it another try). Overall, the tripod appears to be built well and is very stable.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 09:50 PM   #5
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I will be interested to hear your opinion on the performance of the head, once things have been corrected.

Nick
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Old May 8th, 2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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Received replacement...happy

Well I received my replacement and tried it out on a wedding I had this past weekend. I am happy to say that it worked flawlessly. The pan and tilt was very smooth with no jerkyness or end of pan/tilt rebound.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback Mike. I am happy to hear that it worked out for you.

Nick
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